Normativity (in sensu cosmico)

Reading a bit of Jäsche Logik this afternoon, came across some observations on the nature of philosophy. Since the status of this text is different from even your usual student lectures, it’s hard to cite it as belonging to Kant himself, although it is clearly in the spirit of what Kant writes elsewhere on the matter (see below):

Philosophy is thus the system of philosophical cognitions or of cognitions of reason from concepts. That is the scholastic concept [Schulbegriff] of this science. According to the worldly concept [Weltbegriff] it is the science of the final ends of human reason. This high concept gives philosophy dignity, i.e., an absolute worth.


In this scholastic sense of the word, philosophy has to do only with skill [Geschicklichkeit], but in the relation to the worldly concept, on the other hand, with usefulness [Nützlichkeit]. The the former respect it is thus a doctrine of skill; in the latter, a doctrine of wisdom, the legislator of reason, and the philosopher to this extent not an artist of reason but rather a legislator. 

The artist of reason… strives only for speculative knowledge, without looking to see how much the knowledge contributes to the final end of human reason; he gives rules for the use of reason for any sort of end one wishes. The practical philosopher, the teacher of wisdom through doctrine and example, is the real philosopher [der eigentliche Philosoph]. For philosophy is the idea of a perfect wisdom, which shows us the final ends of human reason. [9:24] (English translation from Cambridge edition, 537) Continue reading

New Book: Time For Aristotle (Ursula Coope)

This might be interesting to those following the discussions about “mind imposing space and time” – it’s certainly going into my list of things to read:


What is the relation between time and change? Does time depend on the mind? Is the present always the same or is it always different? Aristotle tackles these questions in the Physics , and Time for Aristotle is the first book in English devoted to this discussion.  

Aristotle claims that time is not a kind of change, but that it is something dependent on change; he defines it as a kind of “number of change.” Ursula Coope argues that what this means is that time is a kind of order (not, as is commonly supposed, a kind of measure). It is universal order within which all changes are related to each other. This interpretation enables Coope to explain two puzzling claims that Aristotle makes: that the now is like a moving thing, and that time depends for its existence on the mind. Brilliantly lucid in its explanation of this challenging section of the Physics, Time for Aristotle shows his discussion to be of enduring philosophical interest.

About the Author

Ursula Coope is a Tutorial Fellow in Ancient Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, Oxford